Ni'Kita Wilson: On Becoming a Cosmetic Chemist, the Ins and Outs of Product Development
Updated: Nov 20
Ni'Kita Wilson has always loved science. She thought she'd become a doctor, but a summer program where she got to shadow MDs as she studied for the MCATs made her realize she didn't have the passion for it. But she stayed with science and when into forensics straight out of college, Quickly realizing that this was the wrong job for her, Ni'Kita started looking for other work and stumbled upon cosmetic chemistry when she landed a job at a consulting company that formulated in every category of beauty and personal care.
She found her home and never looked back. Ni'Kita explains how she mastered her craft, how a mentor encouraged her to go beyond the bench, and why it's her goal to formulate products that impress her peers as well as beauty editors. Now working in product development for a contract manufacturer, Ni'Kita explains why beauty brands large and small use their services, the timeline for a product launch, and why every product, even those created by kitchen chemists should be safety tested.
Finally, Ni'Kita discusses why she believes that Black women are overlooked by the beauty industry, why she created her line, and why empowering her customers takes precedent over products.
Plus, she shares the smartest way to network and why your reputation is a valuable currency that you shouldn't overlook.
Ni’Kita is recognized as an industry leader by her colleagues and the consumer sector. She is the “go-to” source for beauty editors and writers researching trends, ingredients, and beauty formulations as well as writing product reviews. You can find her quoted in publications such as InStyle, Allure, Redbook, Women’s Health, and Prevention magazines. Essence magazine named Ni’Kita “Innovative Cosmetic Chemist”; she was given full-page features in O and Allure magazines. Allure hails her as one of their favorite cosmetic chemists. For the past few years, Ni’Kita has been a judge for Prevention magazine Beauty Awards, Allure Best in Beauty (New Breakthroughs), and InStyle magazine’s big April Beauty feature. She can also be found as an expert and monthly columnist for youbeauty.com, Dr. Oz's new beauty website.
“I absolutely love what I do! There is nothing like being able to not only live out your passion but also spread the love and get others excited about the world of beauty as well!” She exclaims.
Ni’Kita holds many patents, authored a chapter on Anti-Aging Ingredients, is a regular speaker and moderator for major conferences in the Cosmetic industry, and also teaches a continuing education course entitled “Innovation in Personal Care Products” for the Society of Cosmetic Chemists. A role involving innovation suits Ni’Kita very well. She spends much of her time helping beauty editors separate science from science fiction; and developing beauty products that will capture the eye of beauty editors and pass the scrutiny of her colleagues.